Find love: 5 ways to know you’ve had a great first date
1. You’re excited
This is about having not just nerves, but a feeling of positive anticipation about your date. You should feel good about planning what you’re going to wear, or where you’re going to go together. Meeting someone you’ve talked to online for weeks can be a very exciting experience, as the image in your head becomes a reality. It’s ok to feel nervous, but if you’re someone who finds themselves prone to nerves try to remind yourself that there’s no commitment involved – just the chance to have a great night with someone whose company you enjoy.
Warning signs: If you feel negative about your upcoming date, or just not excited at all, then you may not feel as strongly for your date as you think. On the other hand, fear may have taken hold: in this case you should remind yourself that if you don’t take any chances you’ll never experience new things – or meet new people. If a recent break-up is holding you back, and you don’t feel ready to date, take some time out.
2. It feels natural
First dates are rarely going to be completely easy, especially those first few minutes where you’re both trying to get the small talk going. You’ll probably reference events you’ve talked about on email or on the phone, and hopefully relax into a more natural rhythm of conversation. As the date progresses, look for this feeling of ease – if you find yourself simply enjoying the activity you’re sharing together, you’re most of the way there.
Warning signs: If conversation is stilted, or you find yourself listing little things that annoy you about your date, then you’re probably not onto a winner. However, keep in mind that a few idiosyncrasies may simply become ‘cute’ once you get to know the person. It’s about knowing yourself well enough to know what’s a genuine ‘Can’t Stand’ quality for you. Also, if you feel like you’re in a job interview with your partner firing questions at you this is another sign of an uneasy conversational style.
3. You’re interested in each other
Natural curiosity will be present on a great first date – each partner should want to learn as much as possible about the other. You should be exchanging information verbally and also assessing them through their body language and actions. For example, does he have a nice smile? Is she polite to the waiter? Does he make you laugh?
Warning signs: If you find yourself losing the thread of what your date is talking about then you’re probably lacking this mutual interest. Alternatively, if your date seems to be scanning the room, they’ve probably already made up their mind about you. Another sign is that your date is hogging the conversation – are you really going to find love with someone who only talks about themselves? That said, always give a date a fair chance – for example, just because they look around the room a couple of times, might just mean they’re nervous.
4. It ends naturally
If you both seem relaxed and reluctant to end the date then this is a clear sign of a great date. When it comes to the goodnight hug or kiss, the level of sexual tension is also another indicator. You will hopefully feel more attracted to this person than you did a few hours before.
Warning signs: If your date seems to be rushing the night along, by saying things like, ‘Gosh, I’m so tired, I’m going to need to get an early night’, then they’re probably just not feeling it. If it’s you doing the rushing, don’t lie to your date – or yourself. Admitting to yourself that you’re not attracted to your date is much better than faking things for a few more weeks, or even months. Body language is important here too – did you get a quick handshake or light pat on the back? Then maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
5. What happens next
Post-date contact within a few days is important to keep a budding relationship alive. If there’s interest, at least one partner should get in touch to thank the other, and perhaps suggest another date. The tone of the messages should be more personal than they were previously.
Warning signs: An extended period of silence. Work and personal commitments can get in the way, but it doesn’t take much time or effort to make a quick call or write a short email. If someone wants to follow up on a date they generally will. Also, messages that seem somewhat impersonal, could suggest that your date is going through the motions. On the other hand, multiple, overly personal messages should also ring alarm bells. You’re not yet in a relationship so don’t let the other person act like you are.
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